The future of legal medicinal marijuana dispensaries faces much uncertainty as federal officials have been making efforts to shut them down since early October.
On October 5th and October 7th, feds sent letters to medicinal marijuana dispensaries and property landlords stating that their businesses were in violation of federal law as the sale and distribution of marijuana products is illegal in the United States.
Medicinal marijuana has been legal in the state of California for fifteen years. In 1996, California voters passed Proposition 215, legalizing medical cannabis. The proposition outlined the following purposes for the act (via hr90.org/prop215):
(A) To ensure that seriously ill Californians have the right to obtain and use marijuana for medical purposes where that medical use is deemed appropriate and has been recommended by a physician who has determined that the persons health would benefit from the use of marijuana in the treatment of cancer, anorexia, AIDS, chronic pain, spasticity, glaucoma, arthritis, migraine or any other illness for which marijuana provides relief.
(B) To ensure that patients and their primary caregivers who obtain and use marijuana for medical purposes upon the recommendation of a physician are not subject to criminal prosecution or sanction.
(C) To encourage the federal and state governments to implement a plan for the safe and affordable distribution of marijuana to all patients in medical need of marijuana.
In addition to California, fifteen other states have also legalized medicinal marijuana, though only California, Colorado, New Mexico, Maine, Rhode Island, Montana, and Michigan utilize dispensaries to sell cannabis. Now, these businesses have been threatened by federal officials to shut their businesses down within 45 days of the distribution of the letters or face criminal consequences.
A story published Tuesday on Sign On San Diego reports that more than 66% of the 222 total medicinal marijuana dispensaries in the San Diego area have already shut down since the U.S. Attorney’s Office sent out the warning letters in early October.
According to the report, U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy’s office released a statement that said the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency projects that another 9% of the targeted dispensaries will shut down within the next 2 weeks.
Federal officials state that state law is superseded by federal law and have made it very clear that they expect the dispensaries to comply. This move follows a decision by President Obama to toughen his administration’s stand on medical marijuana a few months ago.
Source: Yahoo News
– Article originally from Bangstyle.